While 2020 was a turbulent year for all of us, the 2021 rental market will see the best of the best flourish. Quintain Living - the award-winning management company overseeing rental of 2,416 apartments in London’s hottest new neighbourhood, Wembley Park - has analysed prospective and current renters’ opinions on what’s important now and shares its top rental trends and reasons why renters should be optimistic about 2021:
1. Vaccine gives renters greater confidence: As 2020 drew to a close, we started to see a rise in renter-demand following the vaccine announcement. It’s a renter’s market which means that those landlords offering the best in space, service, and amenities will be perfectly placed to capitalise on growing consumer confidence and increased demand from those tempted into rental through market uncertainty.
2. Space out: 2020 has challenged us all, but work-from-homers are stretching their needs beyond the more obvious demand for super fast broadband or modular, open-plan living. We’re seeing increasing demand from single occupancy residents looking to boost their space, with a notable rise in three bedroom apartment leases amongst this group. This is in addition to the wealth of shared office amenities, private office/writing sheds and conference space available, gives our residents an opportunity for choice, quiet, and the added benefit of never using the same Zoom background twice!
3. Raving places: Parties felt in short supply in 2020, with many forced to roll over special celebrations - weddings, anniversaries, birthdays - into this year. That will push demand for insta-worthy indoor and outdoor social spaces and ours are certainly attracting eyeballs online. With seven acres of green space available as well as covetable private entertaining spaces like our outdoor kitchens, clubhouse and play sheds open for private hire, we expect summer 2021 to see the return of the party and accommodation designed with that in mind, will thrive.
4. 15-minute neighbourhoods: Lockdown living has broadened our sense of home beyond our four walls to the community beyond. Localism is a big trend and one that will continue in 2021. Wembley Park is one of London’s hottest creative neighbourhoods with a curated community of independent and artisan restaurants, retailers and recreation spaces who have nurtured communities digitally, during lockdown, helping drive positive advocacy scores amongst residents.
5. Rental renaissance: Leasing is a future-forward choice, seen by many conscious consumers to be a cool and connected way of accessing a covetable lifestyle without costing the earth. Hot on the heels of fashion and travel, renters in 2021 want more than just a great apartment - they want the added benefits renting can bring which may otherwise be inaccessible, like their own concierge, climbing walls, rooftop cinemas, private play parks and gardens, or stylish clubhouses to meet friends for coffee or cocktails. Renting provides the key to these benefits in the way that ownership doesn’t and could be why we’re expecting demand to grow beyond traditional professional renter groups to young families and retirees.
6. The finer things: People’s expectation for service and support have been accelerated and we expect that that growing band of build-to-rent (BTR) residents who have benefitted from concierge-led living will find it hard to return to life without it. And why should they? As students graduate and move away from their onsite ‘everything’s done for them’ facilities and time-poor young professionals just want to move in without hassle and time delays in getting essential services sorted, there is a much greater expectation from renters to have everything ‘ready to go’ in the apartments they choose to live in. This applies to all ages - from 20-something flat sharers and young families to more mature residents who instantly want to access the benefit of connected urban living.
7. Dog days are over: 2020 saw a boom in lockdown-pet demand with Google reporting record number of pet related searches. As office workers slowly gear up to blended home / office working, we predict more enquiries from people who want access to parks and trails, as well as ancillary pet-friendly services like doggy daycare and grooming. In response to the demand, Quintain Living has ensured all of its buildings are pet-friendly, and is pioneering new amenities to be top dog for pets in 2021.
8. Green fingers: Search for outdoor space sky-rocketed last year, and 20 million novice gardeners took to their plots but in London, waiting lists for allotments can run to seven years. 2021 will be a year of growth and reconnection with nature, so renters will seek more than balcony gardening. Quintain Living has responded to this and offers not just allotments but a fully-equipped potting shed and greenhouse to help residents grow with the flow.
9. Mind, body and world: Long after the physical effects of Covid-19 have left us, mental health will be its defining legacy. Carefully curated spaces with attention to multi-sensorial design and a strong sense of community will top renters’ wishlists. Homes that offer head space - whether that’s to relax, recharge or reconnect with what’s really important, will be highly covetable. Our modular design thinking enables residents to quickly turn a roof terrace into a yoga studio or a party place, as needed, but we’re also proudly building communities of support.
10. Postcodes to be proud of: HA9 is a postcode that style-shapers are already starting to talk about. Nestled at the heart of Brent, London’s Borough of Culture 2020, one thing we can be sure of, it’s a community of bright sparks with a positive future.
Sarah Tinsley, Marketing Director, Quintain Living, sums up: “Despite the uncertainty of 2020, the UK rental market is resilient. With more time spent at home than ever before, renters are rightly becoming more discerning and not prepared to compromise. This consumer-led demand, fuelled by a lot of uncertainty in the world, will lead more people who have not considered renting before, to do so, and it will be those landlords that champion truly meaningful innovation, that will thrive.”
Sarah Tinsley has forged a career out of challenging the status quo. Part of the team that launched Red Bull into the UK, her career spans entertainment and hospitality.